WhatsApp has always boasted of its end-to-end encryption system that allows private conversations to remain between the sender and the receiver only. The Facebook-owned messaging app has repeatedly reiterated that no one other than the people involved in the conversation can access it, not even WhatsApp or its parent company Facebook. However, a new report has uncovered some startling details about WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption method. The report states that contrary to the company’s claims, the messages are not end-to-end encrypted.
According to a recent report by ProPublica, around 1,000 contract employees of WhatsApp have access to a special software from Facebook, through which they can check users’ private WhatsApp messages, photos and videos. “These contractors pass judgment on what they show on their screens – from fraud or spam to child porn and potential terrorist plotting,” the ProPublica report said.
The report said that through work assignments sitting at computers in organized pods, employees access personal data using special Facebook software that has been misrepresented by WhatsApp users and then checked by the company’s artificial intelligence system. However, the report states that conversations that are flagged either by or by the participants in the conversation are accessed by the team of content moderators on WhatsApp.
Facebook issued a statement denying the claims of the report
Facebook has denied the claims of the reports and issued a statement, saying that WhatsApp is secure and end-to-end encrypted. Facebook told Android Central, “WhatsApp offers a way for people to report spam or abuse, including by sharing the most recent messages in chat. This feature is very important to stop the worst abuse on the internet. We strongly disagree that accepting reports selected by the user to send us is incompatible with end-to-end encryption.”
If a conversation is end-to-end encrypted, the messages will be locked and only the sender and receiver of the message can open this lock. WhatsApp says that the messages are end-to-end encrypted and are not stored on any server due to encryption technology. End-to-end encrypted technology is auto-enabled in WhatsApp.